Fire crews rescue people from serious flooding in Aviemore

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Firefighters rescued 25 people, including children, during the incident

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Scotttish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) rescued 25 people from serious flooding in Aviemore in the early hours of Sunday.

At 2.36am (Sunday 6 December) Operations Control in Inverness received a 999 call reporting serious flooding in the Aviemore Holiday Caravan Park, Aviemore.

An Aviemore appliance was mobilised to the scene and on arrival crews found considerable flooding throughout most areas of the park with the water too deep and fast flowing for vehicles to gain access.

Crews also ascertained that a number of the chalets and caravans were occupied with people trapped, however many of the occupants were unaware of the increasing risk as most were asleep in bed.

Recognising the significant potential for the incident to escalate and the potential threat to life, the Incident Commander immediately requested additional assistance and the attendance of the SFRS's specialist swift water rescue team from Inverness.

An appliance from Kingussie and one from Inverness were mobilised to the incident along with the team of 10 swift water rescue specialists.

It was immediately clear to the Incident Commander that a controlled and co-ordinated multi-agency approach would be essential to deliver the most positive outcome.

Firefighters worked closely with colleagues from Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Highland Council and Scottish and Southern Energy which resulted in firefighters rescuing 22 adults, 3 children and 7 dogs from various properties within the park using a swift water rescue boat and rescue sled.

A detailed and systematic search of all 103 properties on the site took place to ensure that all persons had been accounted for and that all residents were safe.

Group Manager John MacDonald, who led the operation, praised the efforts of the fire crews who worked in challenging and arduous conditions of freezing cold water which was swift moving and at times chest deep in places.

He said: "This was energy sapping work that required the implementation of specialist technical processes to ensure safe systems of work were implemented.

"The successful outcome to the incident was achieved through a co-ordinated multi agency approach where all responding agencies played a key role."

GM MacDonald also expressed his thanks to the local community and residents who cooperated with the emergency services and to the local businesses who provided care for those rescued and evacuated as well as catering and refreshments for the personnel from the agencies attending the incident.

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